As a child, Santosh Madhavan lived the life of an expatriate student from India in an American community. He fell in love with the beauty of physics in his teens and realized that teaching physics was a great vehicle through which to share those ideas. His career began in the States, yet he dreamed of teaching in the multicultural environment of international schools. After thirteen years in U.S. independent schools, Santosh took the plunge and applied for, interviewed, and accepted a position at Beijing National Day School, beginning August 2011. He feels that he has become more of a well-rounded teacher since he began teaching overseas, constantly adding to his repertoire because China and the U.S. approach and assess physics differently. Santosh compares teaching stateside to teaching abroad:
"The biggest difference is worldwide mobility: Besides exploring the country where you teach, you can visit neighboring countries. Since schools pay for your airfare (for annual leave and for other events), you can always travel to other countries when you have a layover. I visited Singapore, Dubai, Seoul, and Tokyo when I was in transit. You get to experience different cultures."
To find his next position for 2016-17, Santosh registered with Search Associates based on his colleagues' recommendations. He immediately began close collaboration with his Associate while using searchassociates.com to seek vacancies at premier schools in locations he preferred. In this way, Santosh was able to secure a job before he attended his scheduled job fair! He illustrates the classic Search Associates personal touch:
"I . . . was impressed with [Senior Associate] Julie Ryan's active involvement in the process. She interviewed me, gave me tips on what schools would look for, and encouraged [me] by pointing out strengths in my candidacy."
Santosh cannot emphasize enough the joy of working in an international school:
"I don't think many American teachers realize what they're missing. The pay is much better; the living conditions are excellent, and you get to explore the history and culture of different parts of the world. I believe that a change of pace helps your mind grow because you now have to take into account factors that weren't considered before. To cap it all, you meet great people. The camaraderie is greater because you're all part of a group that's different in its outlook than that of the host nation."